St Gregory's School (Dhaka)

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St. Gregory's High School, Bangladesh, is a Catholic High School founded in Dhaka, British India, in 1882 by Father Gregory De Groote, a Belgian Benedictine priest and ex-student of Dhaka Collegiate School. The school, located on Subhas Bose Avenue of Luxmibazar neighborhood of old Dhaka, was named after Pope Gregory I (540–604), who is also a saint. Brother Prodip Placid Gomes C.S.C is the current headmaster of the school.

In 1888, the American priests of the Congregation of Holy Cross took over the Vicariate of East Bengal from the Benedictine Fathers. At the time, Mr. and Mrs. Wise — who were Protestants — ran a school at present Wiseghat area near the River Buriganga. In this school, most of the students were of European and Anglo-Indian Catholic communities. Anglican and Baptist pastors were allowed to teach religion at this school. Father Francis Boers,C.S.C. tried many times to be a teacher of Catholic religion to the Catholic students at the school, but was not allowed. Out of frustration, he started an English-medium school on the grounds of the present adjoining St. Francis Xavier's Convent and girls' high school, that came into being later. The renamed St. Gregory's School shifted to the present site in 1896.

Until 1912, both boys and girls were students of St. Gregory's High School. When St. Francis Xavier Girls' School came into being in 1912, it became a boys' school. After creation of Pakistan in 1947, the school started the Bengali medium section. After the independence of Bangladesh in 1971, the school has only a Bengali medium section.

Students of the school are known as " The Gregorians". The "Gregorian Association" is the official alumni club of this school.

Early in 1914, a one story building was torn down to make room for the present “Darjeeling “building and the latrines. Also the scout troop, the first in Dhaka, was started and had 40 scouts. Bengali replaced Latin as a second language in 1915. Later that year Father Crowley resigned as headmaster.

Professor Amartya Sen who won a Nobel Prize for economic had been a student of St. Gregory’s . During a visit to Dhaka on December 19, 1998, he visited the school of his childhood and was present at a groundbreaking ceremony for the new school building.

Basketball was introduced into the school in 1923 which is believed to be the first time basketball was played in the country. In July 1923, father Hennessy gained permission to change the European style school to the education board examination. On June 2, 1924, permanent recognition was granted to St. Gregory’s.

Shaheed teachers and the Massacre in 1971[edit]

Two of the three teachers of St. Gregory’s High School who were murdered by the occupying Pakistani army in 1971 were kidnapped from the school premise on March 31, 1971. The teachers were taken to a nearby army camp in Jagannath College. On that day, the Chaudhury, along with two of his teenage sons, who were students of St. Gregory’s at the time, were murdered.

Mr. Monoranjan Poddar, a student of Jagannath College and Mr. Sutradhar’s brother-in-law was also kidnapped by the army from the school and was murdered on March 31, 1971. At least 30 other people were taken from St. Gregory’s High School that day who were also murdered by the army. Brother Robert Hughes, C.S.C., the headmaster of the school, tried to secure the two teachers’ release but failed.

The Pakistan army killed the retired teacher, Mr. Peter D'Costa, with 13 other villagers at Rangamatia Village of the then Dhaka District on November 26, 1971.[1]

Co-curricular clubs of the school[edit]

These include Science club, Debating club,and Cultural club. Science club, which is run by Mr. Nilotpal Sarkar, takes part in science fairs.

Notable alumni[edit]

Politics

  • Tajuddin Ahmed (first Prime Minister of Bangladesh)
  • Dr. Kamal Hossain (former Law and Justice minister of Bangladesh)
  • Dr. A.Q.M. Bodrudozza Chowdhury (former president of Bangladesh)
  • Dr. Iftekhar Ahmed Choudhury (Foreign Affairs Advisor, People's Republic of Bangladesh)
  • Ahmad Tariq Karim (Additional Foreign Secretary, and Bangladesh Ambassador to Iran, South Africa, and U.S.A)
  • Hubert Costa (Member of Polish Parliament)
  • Osman Siddique (first U.S. ambassador to Fiji)
  • A. K. Faezul Huq (former minister, lawyer, and freelance journalist)
  • Dr. Osman Farooq (former Education Minister of Bangladesh, 2001- 2006)
  • Chowdhury Kamal Ibne Yusuf (former Food and Disaster Management and Relief Minister of Bangladesh and renowned politician)
  • Dr. A.T.M Shamsul Huda (CEC)
  • Haider Akbar Khan Rono (pioneer of Communist Movement in Bangladesh)
  • Mizanur Rahman Shely (renowned intellectual, unpolitical advisor of The Bangladesh Government in the 1990s)

Education

  • Dr. Amartya Sen (world-renowned economist and Nobel Laureate in Economics—1998)
  • Dr. Sirazul Islam (former professor of English, Dhaka University)
  • Dr. Jamilur Reza Chowdhury (vice-chancellor of BRAC University, Bangladesh)
  • Dr. Ahrar Ahmad (professor of Political Science, Black Hills State University, South Dakota, USA)
  • Professor Ahmed Shafee (chairman of Physics Department, Dhaka University)
  • Dipen Bhattacharya (former research fellow, NASA, research scientist, Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics in University of California.
  • Prof Dr. Md. Fazle Elahi (former V.C, Islamic University of Technology, OIC)
  • Shaheed Prof. Giasuddin Ahmed (Dept. of History, Dhaka University)
  • Dr. Shankar Madhab Banik (associate professor, Dept. of Mathematics and Computer Science, Military College of South Carolina)
  • Brother John Rozario CSC (former principal, St. Gregory's High School and St. Joseph Higher Secondary School)
  • Dr. Debapriya Bhattacharya (executive director of CPD, Bangladesh)
  • Dr. Syed Saad Andaleeb, distinguished professor, Pennsylvania State University at Eerie
  • Dr. Tanvir Ahmed Khan, registrar, Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB)
  • Dr. Sajjad M.Jasimuddin, associate professor in Euromed Management – School of Management and Business, France
  • Mohdudul Huq (senior planner, Planning and Development Department since 1984, City of Houston, Texas, US); 1963 Batch
  • Dr Tahmeed Ahmed, director, Centre for Nutrition and Food Security, icddrb and professor, Public Health Nutrition, BRAC University, awarded Dr Sultan A Choudhury Gold Medal for outstanding research in Medical Science, 150 publications in international journals and books, including Nature, 1974 batch

Cultural sectors

  • Mostofa Zaman Abbasi (legendary folk singer)
  • Late Samar Das( maestro of Performing Arts in Bangladesh)
  • Suny Zubayer (music composer and singer)
  • Ali Zaqer (eminent actor and TV personality)
  • Zia Ansari (former producer of BTV, Dramatist)
  • Mahfuz Anam (editor-in-chief, The Daily Star)
  • Shefiq Rehman (producer-anchor of the show Lal Golap and editor-in-chief, Daily Jay Jay Din)
  • Shariar Kabir (writer and human rights activist)
  • Hayat Mamud (researcher and literary critic)
  • Kela Kacchu (artist)
  • Bhanu Bandopadhyay (considered the greatest comedian of all time in Bengali movies)
  • Iqbal Bahar Chowdhury (head of Bengali Dept. Voice of America, USA)
  • Zia (Bassist at Shironamhin
  • Tanim Sufyani (singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Vocals at Pledge Karma and formerly Stentorian)
  • Lucky Akhond (prominent singer)

Sports

  • Fr. Francis T.S Crowley, the then headmaster of Gregory's. First introduced basketball to Bangladesh in 1923. And his sons are still taking pride of being the national champion for highest number of times.
  • Pioneer of Scouting in Bangladesh, the movement started in 1914 basically, under the direct supervision of Scout Master Harnett.
  • Late Abdur Rahim (footballer and national coach of Bangladesh)
  • Raqibul Hasan (first captain of Bangladesh Cricket Team)
  • Shafiqul Haq Hira (former Bangladesh Cricket Team captain and team manager)
  • Raisuddin Ahmed (basketball player, sports organizer, lifetime member of ICC)
  • Bir Bikram Kazi Kamal Ahmed (Played a magnificent role in the basketball arena of Bangladesh)
  • Enamul Hossain Rajib (5th Grandmaster of Bangladesh)

Scholarships[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bangladesh Genocide Archive
  2. ^ Star Campus

Bibliography[edit]

  • D'Costa, Jerome (1988) Bangladeshey Catholic Mondoli (The Catholic Church in Bangladesh), Vol.I, pp. 470–471, Dhaka: Pratibeshi Prakashani.